Gary Neville praises Arteta's decision to bench Thomas Partey in Arsenal's win at Newcastle

Published on: 08 May 2023

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has commended Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for dropping Thomas Partey in their 2-0 win against Newcastle United.

The Spanish manager benched the Ghanaian deputy captain for Jorginho for the second game in a row, raising concerns among some fans.

However, Neville believes that the decision was vital in the win over the Magpies and helped put pressure on Manchester City by cutting their lead to just one point at the top.

“I thought they might get eaten alive [on Sunday vs Newcastle]. The atmosphere was ferocious. Arsenal grew up here a lot," he told Sky Sports.

“Mikel Arteta deserves a lot of credit for picking Jorginho. Many would have said get Thomas Partey back in there. The class Martin Odegaard showed in the first 30 minutes was outstanding.

“Jorginho composed his team-mates and guided them. (Gabriel) Martinelli and (Bukayo) Saka are still not at their best but the composure from Odegaard and Jorginho was there for all to see.

“The reason why Manchester United players and Pep Guardiola have said Paul Scholes is their favourite player was because in moments in the hardest atmosphere in a difficult away game those players are unique.

“They have the composure, the balance to get the team playing. That's what Jorginho reminded me of - he was fantastic.”

Thomas Partey has been instrumental for Arsenal's title charge this seasonl, playing 30 games and scoring three times.